After the successes of the surveys and excavation at Basing House in 2014, a second season of work is being conducted by the Basing House CAT project (http://basinghouseproject.org/) directed by Nicole and Gareth Beale. Work on the excavation is ongoing, and can be seen on the project blog. In addition to this work, however, further geophysical survey is also being conducted on Basing Common.
Elliot surveying the possible location of the siege camp on Basing Common using a magnetometer, with Basing House within the trees in the background
A combination of geophysics and metal detecting is being used over the area to provide information on the location of the Parliamentarian siege camp established in the area during the siege of Basing House. Work started today with Dominic Barker, the author, and a team of students and volunteers. Dom and others involved in the survey will be posting blogs in the coming weeks. However, the survey started well with a grid being established in the southern part of the Common.
Dom Barker gridding out using a GPS
A small area of magnetometry was covered, however, the results seem to indicate the presence of possible anomalies relating to a possible camp, including a broad ditch feature, a possible bastion, and other more ephemeral ditches and pits. The ploughsoil also indicates ferrous material over the area possibly associated with artefacts from the seige. The plan is to use metal detecting to find artefacts across the survey area, with these being bagged up and located using the GPS, allowing their distribution to be compared with the geophysical survey results. Please check back for further developments over the duration of the field season.
The second week of survey at Basing House finished on Friday in a spray of mud and rain, hailstones and inky cloud. What had promised to be a reasonable day quickly became unworkable, wet and cold. The teams set out for the final day of survey, focusing on completion of the magnetometry and resistivity in the area of the New House and outer bailey, and GPR over the outer bailey also. We abandoned the magnetic susceptibility to ensure that all hands were working on the res and mag. The rain set in and the GPR survey was the first to suffer, with the notebooks turning to mush.
Time for a weatherproof notebook!
The magnetometry continued, mopping up grids on the Civil War earthworks, and finishing the survey of the New House and outer bailey. Resistivity was completed in the Old House and the New House, although the team had suspicions that the wet weather would affect the results.
Kelly with the magnetometer
Rain? What rain?
Smashing work for day two at Basing House
Basing House Project
Today was the second day on site for staff and students from the surveying module. The weather was changeable (to say the least!), but the teams still managed to get almost a full day’s work in. We were all feeling confident as we arrived on site this morning, and the teams set up quickly and smoothly. There was just enough time to take a group snap before everyone ran off to begin their work!
The plan for our week here on site is for the seven teams of students and staff to move gradually through the site, surveying as we go. Each team works on a delimited area, using landmarks such as wall and tree lines to mark where the surveying is taking place, identifying also a small overlap with any neighbouring teams. We’re aiming to survey a large part of the site, but Basing House really is very extensive…
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